A fatherless generation

Hello friends, I trust you are all well. Starting today, we shall begin a series on relationships and we’ll cover the following areas:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Romantic relationships
  • Our relationship with God

So please join me for the next 4 weeks as we understand what relationship entails and why it is so important for us to be in good relations with everybody, starting with family.

Relationships: Defined

The Oxford Living Dictionaries defines a relationship as, “the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected.Key word in this definition is connection. So what does it mean to be connected? It goes on to define a connection as linking one thing with another.

According to this, a relationship is all about being joined together and results in a link being formed. Relationships ensure that we are joined together. A family is the focal point of all relationships.

Family

Image by unsplash-logoSandy Millar

God created us to connect, which is why He created Eve for Adam. He (Adam) needed to connect with someone who was similar to him, something He didn’t find despite being put in charge of all creation. God then told them to be fruitful and multiply According to the Bible in Genesis 1:28, a family comprises a two parents (father AND mother) and children.

But something is changing in this era and we’re seeing a shift in the family dynamics. The rate of divorce is at an increase, children have been left to bring themselves up because parents are too busy with everything else except their families, and a lot more drama.

Many children are now being brought up by their mothers single handedly which has and continues to cause a lot of issues.  I came across some statistics with regards to children who’ve grown up in fatherless homes and I was shocked! I hadn’t realized the kind of impact that have n their children till I read this. Take a look at the stats below

According to “What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities?” from the U.S. Department of Justice, children from fatherless homes account for:

  • 63% of youth suicides
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway youths
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders
  • 71% of all high school dropouts
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes – 10 times the average.

Scary stats, right?

The same research also came up with the following statistics with regards to children whose fathers are actively present in their lives; Children with Fathers who are involved are: 40% less likely to repeat a grade in school, 70% less likely to drop out of school, more likely to get A’s in school, more likely to enjoy school and engage in extracurricular activities.

The figures above speak for themselves, for any individual to thrive, they need to grow up in a complete family that comprises of a father AND mother plus the children. However, the environment needs to be a healthy one because growing up in the above family set up which is toxic is also not good for children.

What I have observed from children who have grown up in fatherless homes (either due to the father being physically or emotionally
absent) is that:

  • Men get affirmation from their fathers and if they do not receive it they tend to have an identity crisis because they don’t understand what exactly it means to be a man. They are so used to seeing their mothers provide which should not be the case.
  • All girls need to hear from their fathers that they are beautiful, be loved and feel protected. If fathers do not offer these to their daughters, they will seek it from other young men and find it hard to leave especially if the relationship is toxic either because they do not believe they are deserve better treatment or due to the fact that they do not have a measure of what a healthy relationship should look like.

I understand that there are cases where two parents are unable to raise their children together due to various reasons and in such a case I would suggest having a male relative to act as a father figure to the children so that they don’t grow up lacking the love of both a father and mother.

In the next post, I will address how to do handle conflicts that arise between family member.

Look out for it!

Feature image by unsplash-logoDaiga Ellaby

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